If you are considering becoming a dental hygienist the first and most obvious step is to apply to a Dental Hygienist School. However, that isn’t enough. There are certain considerations that you should keep in mind before making any decisions about it. We are answering a few frequently asked questions to help you make a better and wiser decision.
What are the requirements for applying?
To be able to apply for an accredited dental hygienist program, it is necessary for you to complete a high school diploma. You should have a minimum of 60% pass marks in 12th along with 60% pass mark in 11th-grade biology. Along with that you would also require a passing mark on the Superintendent approved qualifying test or pass the Canadian Achievement Survey Test. You have to deliver official scripts to the college in person. Apart from the academic requirements, other requirements include personal interviews, pre-admission aptitude tests and filling out relevant forms.
If you are 18 or above when you attend your first day, then you are considered to be a mature student. In the case of mature students, they do not have the academic requirements which have been mentioned above, they are considered on a case by case basis.
What makes up a good program and how long does it take?
When choosing a program, make it your priority to choose a course which has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and also approved under the 2015 Private Career Colleges Act. If possible, then choose a school that is a member of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) as the membership to such trade organizations implies that the college is credible and reliable.
Apart from that, there are other important considerations that you should keep in mind when making a decision. Faculty with industry experience, hands-on training, the library, the labs and the atmosphere of the school, including the extra-curricular activities, all have a crucial role to play.
Most of the dental hygienist course take up less than 2 years which are divided into 3 to 4 semesters, depending upon the college. Once you are done with the training, you would need to appear and pass the National Dental Hygiene Board Exam to become a dental hygienist.
What does a dental hygienist do?
It’s a common myth that dental hygienist only cleans the teeth. Along with that, the hygienist is also responsible for educating the patients about oral hygiene, oral cancer, invisalign austin and other related diseases. Taking x-rays, placing sealants, administering fluoride treatments, cleaning/whitening teeth, giving mouth guards, initial patient assessment such as examining gums, are all just some of the many tasks that are carried out by a dental hygienist.
What are the skills required?
As the job requires handling sensitive equipment, you need good motor skills. Apart from job specific skills, you also need soft skills like interpersonal skills in order to establish yourself.